[Gaijin Series EP1] Zeehart Arrives at Valefor

Heyaaaaaaaaa! Welcome to my new series called The Gaijin Adventures of Zeehart (very creative name!). In this blog series, I will be sharing my experiences in a Japanese FFXIV server as someone who isn’t from Japan, who doesn’t speak and who can’t read Japanese.

To start off, let’s define what is a gaijin.

gai·jin

ɡīˈjin/ · noun · (in Japan 🇯🇵) a foreigner.

Gaijin — that is how Japanese players calls players like me. Once they see E is highlighted and underlined in your languages despite having J highlighted as well, you are a gaijin.

My first FFXIV encounter

I used to play ARR 2.2 — played up to about Level 35 on Tonberry as a Hyur summoner on my free month as part of getting the game. I played on Tonberry knowing that most of my WoW guildies play on Tonberry as well, and that Tonberry is the JP server with the most E players. But even with that environment, I left the game for vaious reasons.

  • I returned to World of Warcraft because I was part of a raid team.
  • I found the game really clunky and slow — this is a common complaint from people trying out the game.
  • I couldn’t maintain multiple MMO subscription fees.
  • Tonberry was shit (my opinion!) — the environment was like WoW. Toxic. Same talkshit.

Then came World of Warcraft: Shitlords of Draenor. I raided the first tier, quit the game because of my terribad DPS as shadow priest — I blamed the lag caused by the move of Oceanic Servers from US to AU. Apart from that I lost interest in the game as well. I moved to my backlog of games.

To Heavensward

July 2015, I looked at the reviews of Heavensward saying it is a good game. One random weekend, I brushed up my SQEX account, subscribed to the game (was planning to try just 1 month), updated my game (took a really long time), but haven’t bought Heavensward yet.

I logged in and reached the character selection. I asked myself if I should continue my character on Tonberry — decided to delete it, and find another JP server. I read from forums that there’s a small E community on Valefor which is why I chose to be there. I didn’t care if it was small, I only planned to play FFXIV as casual to distant myself from the toxic WoW community I left behind. I never thought that I will be raiding or doing hard endgame content. I just want to enjoy, so I made my Lalafell — Zeehart Xua.

{ Hello } { Nice to meet you }

I started as a CNJ because I wanted to be a WHM since start. I like being a healer — I like being that person that turns the tide. It’s easier for me to accept my mistake that I failed to heal properly, than I failed because my DPS was trash, or I failed to maintain aggro. I hated being in melee range. And I like staves and robes.

Sastasha!!! My first real dungeon!!! (Insert Lalafell excited screeeeeeeeeammmmssssssss)

I already knew people don’t talk much, and I saw people were saying something in Japanese that I couldn’t understand as we entered the dungeon. I copy-pasted the texts to Google Translate opened on my 2nd monitor. They were saying “Hello”, “Thanks for having me”, and “Let’s do it.” — since there’s an auto-translate feature, I tried to use it. I said {Hello.} {Nice to meet you.} Since then, I made that into a macro (and several more) so that I’ll just click an action button whenever I wanted to say anything. Here are the canned messages I had:

  • {Hello} {Nice to meet you}
  • {Thank you} {I had fun today}
  • {I’m sorry} {I’m inexperienced}

Since I already had MMO background, I didn’t have any problems of being a noob. I knew how to survive and how to heal. But when I reached Brayflox Longstop, the tank was saying something in chat. I didn’t bother translating it. I thought he was talking to the other guys. And then I saw my name in chat and the tank was poking then slapping me. We were just standing there, the tank refused to move forward, so I thought I was doing something wrong. I translated the text and I couldn’t understand the translation properly. One of the guys tried to speak
in English to help me, although it was not proper English, he did his best to communicate with me. It was because I was casting Stoneskin right before the pull of mobs and I was getting the aggro. They didn’t kick me (like I would expect if I was in WoW). They tried to reach out to me, outside of their comfort zone, to teach me.

The Japanese players are kind. They prefer abandoning the duty and requeuing rather than kicking someone. They try to speak in shorthand English just to teach a newbie like me. Someone even told me that I’m pretty good at using the Auto-Translate feature to communicate.

This was the experience I had during my leveling days. I’ll continue my story on the next episode of the Gaijin series — wherein I got invited to the English Valefor linkshell and an E-player Free Company: Ravens Knight.